Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Trump approves TikTok deal, judge blocks WeChat ban

The deal edges US control to over 50%.

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The White House has announced it has approved in principle a deal in which the social video network TikTok would sell a significant stake of its operations to Oracle and Walmart, according to media reports.

Under the agreement, Oracle would own 12.5% of the newly created TikTok Global while Walmart would own 7.5%.

The haggling began after President Donald Trump said he would ban the platform, owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, over national security concerns.

The deal falls short of full divestment, with ByteDance retaining majority ownership of TikTok Global.

However, in a twist, it appears US investors own a substantial stake in ByteDance.

Sources say the combined US stakes will surpass 50%, placing the new entity under de facto American control.

The decision has delayed a threatened ban on the app used by more than 100 million Americans set to begin yesterday.

Separately, a judge blocked a similar ban on WeChat while legal challenges were considered.

Millions of US users can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for a while.

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